Hello friends and thanks for checking in again! This thing called life has cut into my writing time this past week, so I apologize for the delay in this post. It's been several days since my last one. When I looked into this whole blogging idea, I read somewhere that it's typical for bloggers to post something at least 4 times a week. Really? People actually find time to do that? Well, this person is going to have to figure out exactly how to get that done, but I promise you that I will...eventually.
Just to catch everyone up, I started this blog so friends, both new and old, could follow along with me as I attempt to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. About a year and a half ago, I finished writing my first novel, Murder By The Books. Under the guidance of a wise high school classmate who is a published author herself, I began querying literary agents (more about that in future posts).
Murder By The Books is, what they call in the literary world, a cozy mystery. When people find out I've written a novel, they want to know what kind of book it is. Having been a teacher for over thirty years. many people assume I would write a children's book. When I tell them my book is a cozy mystery, I get the deer in headlights look from most of them.
Some are too polite to ask, and pretend they know what I"m talking about. Others quickly change the subject. There have been a few brave souls that have actually asked me, "So what exactly is a cozy mystery?" After stumbling along through many awkward explanations that make me sound less than intelligent, I've finally found a good definition of what puts the "cozy" into a cozy mystery.
Most cozy mysteries take place in a quaint small town where the residents all know each other and each other's business. The main character of a cozy is usually a female who gets drawn into a murder mystery through circumstances beyond her control. The violence or murder occurs with little blood or gore; and while there's probably a romantic twist, you won't find any of the bodice-ripping scenes like in a Harlequin romance novel. Cozy mysteries are also loved for their cast of quirky and endearing supporting characters who usually provide the humor that cozy readers enjoy. The last thing that distinguishes a cozy from other types of mysteries is that in the end, justice is served and peace is restored to the little community and its citizens. Everybody loves a happy ending, right?
My novel takes place in the sweet, little town of Willowbrook, Illinois where the people are friendly, business is booming, and fall is in the air. My main character, Jillian, is about to realize her lifelong dream of opening a children's bookstore called Kidz Korner. Get ready for it...here comes today's sneak peek into Murder By The Books!
“Whoa, hey, slow down you two,” Jillian pleaded. “We do not have time to chase those squirrels right now! Why are you so obsessed with them anyway? They’re just little rodents with furry tails.”
Juggling her purse, two leashes, and her keys, Jillian attempted to climb out of her car and lock the door. With two frenzied, furry friends swirling around her ankles and doing their very best to trip her up, she headed up the sidewalk. Glancing toward the quaint brick building that housed her soon to be opened children’s bookstore, Jillian smiled. She paused for a moment to appreciate the curb appeal of the front porch. Her goal had been inviting and cheerful, and she thought her efforts had struck just the right chord. The colorful pots filled with bright fall blooms in shades of red, orange, and yellow placed all around the porch immediately grabbed your attention. The arrangement of wicker furniture with eye-catching, comfy cushions to the right of the front door and the lovely wooden porch swing hanging to the left invited customers to come on up and stay awhile.
“What do you think, girls?” she said to her canine companions. “I believe this porch is just about perfect.” Both pups looked up at her and cocked their heads to the same side. Jillian took that as a sign the dogs were in complete agreement with her. “I guess it’s time we moved inside and got busy.” Jillian led the dogs up the front steps onto the porch. She unlocked the door and entered the store with a stern warning to her pups. “We’ll leave this door open to get a breeze through the screen, as long as you two can control yourselves and keep from terrorizing those poor squirrels.”
Her two, adorable schnauzer pups, Abbey and Hayley, stared up at Jillian appearing to drink in her every word. Jillian smiled at their sweet bearded faces and soulful brown eyes, taking their silence as compliance to her wishes. “Ok ladies, you amuse yourselves so I can get some work done.”
I hope this little glimpse into my story has piqued your interest, and that you’ll keep coming back to check out future blogs. More sneak peeks are a guarantee. I also hope I’ve cleared up any questions about what exactly is a cozy mystery.
I’ve kept you long enough tonight, so I’ll leave you with this thought. If you were to write a novel, what genre would it be? Feel free to leave comments on this website, I appreciate and welcome your thoughts.
Until next time,